What is Zumba?

By Jim F


Apparently almost 1 million Americans have taken Zumba classes.

Zumba (pronounced zoom-buh) was invented by dancer and choreographer Alberto (“Beto”) Perez in Colombia during the 1990s and is a style of intense dance-aerobics workout set to pulsating Latin music.

Now taught in gyms and studios, Zumba has attracted millions of enthusiasts worldwide and continues to grow in popularity.

Zumba May Be Addictive

So what are people saying about Zumba addicts?

“It’s a party,” Doug Jones, 35-year-old driver from Dayton, Ohio said in trying to describe Zumba (pronounced ZOOM-buh), which is Colombian slang for “fast.” “It emulates being in a nightclub without the drinking, the smoking, the bad pickup lines.” (via the Associated Press)

To be honest just visiting the Zumba site had me grooving in my office chair.

The 60-minute program incorporates footwork and body movements from flamenco, salsa and other dances. Participants pump their legs, windmill their arms, gyrate their hips, clap their hands, dip, slide and spin — all to a frenzied beat that leaves them with flushed cheeks and dripping in sweat.

Making Moving Fun is a Good Thing

Anything that gets you up and moving is a good thing. And from the looks of it, Zumba is a non-stop, fast-paced fitness adventure!

Becoming a Zumba instructor comes in various forms: basics classes, advanced classes, Zumba for muscle toning, “Aqua Zumba” for the pool, and “Zumbatonic,” which is specifically for kids ages 4 to 12.

Zumba for Everyone

It may be intimating to get into a room with complete strangers and shake your groove thing, but Zumba still attracts people from all walks of life.

You can just get out there and move and be silly and not have to worry about it,” said Rick Carpenter, 50, a television repairman from Brookville, who took up Zumba with his wife after seeing a poster for it. “It’s a good stress reliever. You can be having the worst day … and after you’ve done an hour of Zumba you just feel great.

Wow! I guess millions of people can’t be wrong. Has anyone taken a Zumba class? Looks like a lot of fun!

Image credit: divavillage


  1. Z

    Just tried Zumba for the first time. It was a hard at firt learning the moves because Iā€™m not dancer to begin with. I have to admit I was sweating like apig at the end. Good work out w/o the pain.It’s enjoying! The best exercise is the one i’ve waiting for, the one that makes you feel good about yourself. Iā€™m hoping to trim a bit off the waist line. Wish me luck!

  2. Arcadia S.

    I gotta agree with you..Why would u comment like that? White this and white that. I myself is Puerto Rican and Afro American and know some “whites” that that probably move and speak Spanish better than me. Music and the feeling is universal…Be Kind! Thanks!

  3. j.l. hunt

    Hello. I am definitely interested in batuka dance dvd’s! I live in the back of nowhere Colorado. There a zero dance classes. Our town has 2 gas stations and a not very good diner. I love the music and would be doing this from home but am a beginner dancer

    Look forward to hearing from you.

  4. annette smith

    hi everyone im from gold coast and we have zumba every friday in nerang from 4-6pm which is 2 classes one at 4-5 is for kids n mums ..mums are free and kids are $5 each ..kids love our zumba instructor pania….the adults session is at 5pm and that class is $10 we can fit another 50 peeps in our hall…the centre is bert swift community centre…11 centurion cres,nerang…street opposite nerang high go down and its second on right…see you there…we can start other classes too on other nights depending on demand…

  5. kassidy

    it is a lot a fun. i loved it. the only down fall is if you are a little clumsy you tend to fall

  6. Desiree

    Vicky, your story has deffinately encouraged me to try ZUMBA! I also get bored very quickly with exercising and its just not fun for me at all.. I am 19 years old about 5 feet 7 inches and i weigh a miserable 198! My weight gain came from when i started working at McDonalds 2 and a half years agao.. and i am currently a college freshman with a lot of stress :(.. I just want to be happy and healthy and thaks to you I will try this Zumba thing and hopefully my results will be as great as yours!

  7. Desiree

    Hi all! So I just recently heard about Zumba and I was interested so I visited the site and I am totally considering buying the total body fitness set! I love to dance but i absolutely HATE working out with weights and such so I hope this will be a fun workout! HAs anyone tried the total body fitness yet??

  8. vickibatuka


  9. vickibatuka

    I love batuka! its much better than zumba lol Do you know anything about it coming to the uk?

  10. vickibatuka

    you should feel proud that us “whites” are trying to do these moves and are enjoying the dancing and music not slating us for it

  11. vickibatuka

    Hi rob im in the uk i love batuka and want to teach it in uk, do you know how i can go about this? my sister got me the dvds from spain i have learned most the dances and can teach them mirror image, can u give me some information please šŸ™‚

  12. Juan Pablo

    It;s funny to see all these “white” people trying to move like latins do. We, colombians, have been doing zumba since we are born. We all dance and do this. Actually all weekends all do in discotheques and clubs, for hours and hours and women on high heels.

    No question why colombian women are the most sexiest and most beautiful women in the world.

    Whites can get the technique, but NEVER the moves and flavor. NEVER!!!

  13. Char

    Rob have a 12 old boy being bullied because of his weight.Really would like to try your DVD’s ASAP. Pray that you are still offering the DVD’s. Please let me know. Thanks so much Char

  14. Char

    Hi Rob saw your comment about Batuka. Have severe fibromyalgia and would like to try your DVD. Are you still offer the DVD. Hope you are, would like to try it. Thanks Char

  15. Sara

    This is so commercial!!! These rythms have been there forever!! I wish I was the one who comercializated this in the USA.

  16. dionna

    Rob I am interested in trying. Let me know. Dionna

  17. aumsville2006

    Oh my!! I am so addicted to Zumba it is not even funny!! I do two videos a day and absolutely love it!! My three year old calls it “his music”!!!

  18. Rachel

    Did you go on a specific diet plan? I want to lose weight but with my job (50-60 hours a week) I find myself exhausted and not wanting to do anything after I get home.

  19. Vicky

    It’s me again, with a little update.I have lost 30 more pounds to make it a total of 50 lbs lost so far doing ZUMBA. I Still love as much as I did before, if not more. If you are really serious about losing weight try Zumba. Don’t wait, do it now….

  20. Donna Gardner

    ” I also like that they don’t teach you a choreographed routine… you just follow along to the movements. ”

    Sounds like World Fusion Dance.We learn a vocabulary of moves then improvise together, responding to the music and each other. It makes for very dynamic dance. More here http://www.pedralta.com

  21. gymgirl

    I am a certified spin, pilates, & resistance trainer. I have participated in ALL the gym fads for the past 20 years. Step, slide, body pump, spin, zumba… I had knee surgury 1 year ago.(partly due to the abuse of step classes) In my opinion YES zumba can be bad for your knees because there is a huge margin for error. A shoe sticking to the floor or a zig when your you should have zaged will throw out not only a knee but a hip or back.
    Please do not be discouraged. I suggest indoor cycling or spinning. It is a NO impact aerobic exercise that you can do for the rest of your life! Don’t stay away from your gym, talk to someone at the desk or other members. It is important for you to find the right exercise to keep you motivated and coming back for more. Good Luck šŸ™‚